I'm Addicted To An iPhone Game, And I'm Genuinely Worried For My Life

It’s finally happened.

I’m addicted to an iPhone game.

I’ve never really gotten into any of the games people play: Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Dots, Threes, etc.

But this morning my colleague Megan Rose Dickey wrote about the game 2048, and I’ve already wasted probably 3 hours of my life, and it’s getting worse.

The gameplay is simple. You slide tiles towards tiles that match. When two tiles share the same number and they slide into each other, a new tile with double the face value forms. So slide a 2 into a 2 and a 4 shows up. Slide a 4 into a 4 and an 8 shows up. The goal is to keep sliding tiles into each other so that eventually a 2048 tile shows up (it’s a fun way to learn powers of 2 if nothing else!)

The gameplay looks like this.

Anyway, I’m now genuinely worried about killing my productivity. I played it right through the opening of Asian markets, which is normally something I’d pay attention to. I also missed an IM form a colleague.

Unlike some other games like Flappy Bird, this one has the patina of being an intellectual puzzle requiring the player to think several moves ahead. It’s also a test of patience, since it’s easy to just move without thinking about it.

The good news is that it’s not one of those games where you’re tempted to buy stuff in-game. The bad news is that time is money, so that really doesn’t matter.

Anyway, I highly recommend you don’t play it.

And whatever you do, don’t click on this link where you can try out a web-based version of it on your desktop.

And for those who have had addictions to games — and have them gotten over them — what’s the best approach here? Should I attempt to kill the habit now, or try to defeat the game?

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